Monarch Ski & Snowboard Area

Available for $289 pre-season, the Monarch Mountain Pass gives you unlimited access to Monarch, plus three free days each at Loveland, Sunlight Mountain, Durango and Powderhorn, one free day at Silverton and three free days each at Angel Fire, Pajarito and Sipapu in New Mexico. This nifty deal also nets you half-price lift tickets at Alta in Utah and free lift tickets at Grand Targhee in Wyoming if you pay for lodging. The cash value of the first seven freebies? Over $1,000 in 2009-10 lift-ticket prices. Oh, and you avoid I-70 for most of the season. Can you put a price on that?

Looking for a sick stick made within an ecologically sustainable shipping distance of your favorite resort? Look no further than Never Summer's Heritage Series boards, made in a north Denver warehouse. This year's model featured a woolly mammoth repping the Colorado state banner; next year's boards will have a bald eagle flying the flag. Now that the snowboard industry has mostly farmed out production to China, these boards hit happily close to home.

Best Guess for When the Broncos Will Return to the Super Bowl

2016

The Broncos back in the Super Bowl? It's not happening anytime soon, and here's why: Josh McDaniels. He's demonstrated that he knows the game, but his XXL ego will keep tripping him up, as he proved when he ran defensive coordinator Mike Nolan out of town, and when he convinced himself that he could reverse Brady Quinn's horribleness. He'll go on to be a fine coach, but it will happen after he flames out in Denver and is replaced by someone whose bravado won't dent the floorboards. Then, and only then, will the Broncos be back in the Super Bowl.

Love him or hate him, there's no denying that Scott Hastings knows Colorado sports. The former Denver Nuggets player has been a very visible part — he stands 6' 10" and is very recognizable — of the sports broadcasting scene here for more than fifteen years. He's also very busy, providing TV color commentary for Nuggets broadcasts and co-hosting a daily radio sports talk show on 104.3/The Fan. And although he can sometimes act clownish on the air, his aw-shucks demeanor and stumbling style of speaking is infused with a winking sense of humor, mostly insightful analysis, and honest, often brutally accurate assessments of local players and teams.

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